The Creature Columns: The Aesthetic Appeal of Movie Posters (Part 1) by Tom "Creature" Jeffers
Art is completely subjective. The appreciation of cinema is completely objective. I wanted to get that out of the way before I proceed with what is a deep passion of mine. Movie posters are like book covers. They can draw or repulse. They can even draw a person in because they repulse. Bad movies can have spectacular posters. Excellent films can have terrible posters. This is the first article that I have in a planned series that discusses this notion from a purely artistic standpoint. A review of a movie poster in no way reflects a film. It is a total and separate entity. What I am also offering here is my own opinion based on hours of research and art appreciation. I am in no way a complete expert. Therefore, if my opinion is different from yours, dear reader, please do not take offense. My intention is not to be negative in any way. I am simply offering my observations and opinions. Thank you for your understanding!
A movie poster can make a film or break it. That may indeed be a bold statement, but I know it to be true for myself and many over film buffs. The first impression we often get from a film is a released poster. Movie trailers can change our minds about a film, but that first impression tends to stick with us. With that understanding, it is easy to see why posters are such an integral part of a film release. I want to discuss a few posters to illustrate my meaning. My intention in this first article is to focus on poster versions that work better than others.
The first set of posters that I want to showcase is from the film Spider-Man: Homecoming. This was an excellent popcorn movie that provided a lot of pleasure to its audiences. Tom Holland is simply endearing in his role as Peter Parker. Frankly, that is the main issue with the two different posters.
The next set of posters is for a fantastic classic. It has stood the test of time for decades and is much loved throughout the world. Jaws is just one of those films that stays fresh and exciting. It is always a great watch, and I still maintain that the opening sequence is one of the most terrifying in cinema history. However, there is a poster that few ever mention that lacks the same sense of the sinister.
The final set of posters I want to showcase center on a property that I have loved almost all of my life. It also showcases just how far we have come in the design of such things. Neither poster is particularly memorable, but one certainly dominates the other. The movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, is generally remembered with fondness. It is a fun tale with the original crew.
All in all, the appeal of movie posters is a subjective thing. However, some things can certainly add to a film and encourage a viewer to watch it. Often a simple poster can work better. If a poster is going to be busy, it certainly needs to be original. The poster is the single most physical part of a movie that promotes it and entices an audience. The careful selection of elements has increasingly become more and more important. Audiences are no longer enticed by the same old styles. Most are looking for something fresh. With movie poster collecting on the rise, this form of art will become more and more appealing as time goes on.
My next article (Part 2) will deal with original movie posters and the inspired posters of their sequels. I hope to see you here then.
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